If you haven’t been able to do any travelling this summer, you can still catch Marc Camoletti’s Boeing Boeing at the Langham Court Theatre to satisfy your wanderlust. From the bold, psychedelic wallpaper to the lava lamp pulsating on the bar table, the ingenuity of the set design immediately transports you into the mind of Bernard, a charming playboy, whose mathematical system for keeping his three stewardess fiancées apart hits turbulence as his old friend, Robert, arrives in Paris. At once hilarious and touching, Boeing Boeing applauds life’s journey and the bumps along the way.
The laughs began on the very first line, pronounced in Gloria’s heavy Georgian drawl, proof that, even 52 years after its first staging, Boeing Boeing still has the spunk that earned it a reputation as the most popular French comedy ever written. It has been 36 years since director Toshik Bukowiecki first brought the farce to the Langham, and two members from his 1978 production blended in amongst the buzzing audience to appreciate Bukowiecki’s second rendition. If the excited chatter during the intermission (or the sheer volume of patrons waiting to congratulate the cast once the curtains closed) is any indication, 2014 will be another successful year for Boeing Boeing at Langham Court.
Without a doubt, Boeing Boeing is the funniest play that I have ever seen. Every line is bursting with wit and the exuberant, dynamic characters bring the comedy to life in a way that I never would have expected. Though the character types are immediately identifiable (the maid, the bachelor, the dorky but loveable friend), the actors build off the traditional tropes to make their characters distinct and real. In all my time watching plays, I have never experienced such a complete dissolve between actor and character. The cast was so perfectly selected as to make any one character or actor stand out impossible; however, Berthe (Bernard’s long-suffering housekeeper) was a pleasant surprise, and integral to Boeing Boeing’s success both as a comedy and as a touching story about the human condition.
If you’re looking for something to liven up your summer then stow your carry on, and let Boeing Boeing transport you through two and a half hours of laughter and to the touching conclusion that, though life is about the journey and not the destination, sometimes it’s good to get home.
Boeing Boeing is open for passengers between July 23 and August 2. Adults board for $21 and students and seniors board for $19. Don’t want to fly solo? Board in a group of 10 or more and pay $16 a seat. For more information, visit http://www.langhamtheatre.ca/boxoffice/plays/boeing-boeing/.